Maddon, Piniella earn managerial honors
Joe Maddon easily won the American League Manager of the Year award yesterday after guiding the Tampa Bay Rays from baseball's basement to the World Series. Lou Piniella of the Chicago Cubs took the National League honor. Maddon, who succeeded Piniella as Tampa Bay manager in 2006, was a runaway winner in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He received all but one of the 28 first-place votes - the other went to the Minnesota Twins' Ron Gardenhire. There has not been a unanimous winner for Manager of the Year. Tampa Bay had not won more than 70 games in a season before Maddon, 54, led a young team that finished in last place a year ago to a 97-65 record and the AL East title. Piniella, 65, led the NL Central champion Cubs to the league's best record and beat out Charlie Manuel of the World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies to earn his third Manager of the Year award and first in the NL. The fiery Piniella also won in 1995 and 2001 with the Seattle Mariners. He became the fourth manager to win in both leagues, joining Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Jim Leyland.
More Rays: : Center fielder B.J. Upton had surgery on his left shoulder this week, and Tampa Bay expects him to be ready by Opening Day.
Athletics-Rockies: : Oakland completed its trade with Colorado for All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday. The Rockies received right-handed reliever Huston Street, left-handed starter Greg Smith and promising outfielder Carlos Gonzalez from the A's. The clubs reached a tentative agreement Monday but had to wait for the results of physicals and other details to be worked out. Holliday, a two-time All-Star and runner-up for the 2007 NL Most Valuable Player award, is due to make $13.5 million next season and then will be eligible to become a free agent. He hit .321 with 25 homers and 88 RBIs last season, and he has 128 homers and 483 RBIs in five seasons.
Et cetera: : Left-hander Damaso Marte and the Yankees agreed to a three-year, $12 million contract that includes a club option for 2012. New York last week declined a $6 million option on the reliever, 33, choosing to pay a $250,000 buyout. ... Athletics bench coach Don Wakamatsu and Padres Triple-A manager Randy Ready interviewed to be the Mariners' manager. ... ... Former major leaguers Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds were hired as studio analysts for the MLB Network, which launches Jan. 1.
Group: Top football teams still lack black coaches
Minorities are getting more interviews but still aren't getting enough college football jobs, according to the Black Coaches and Administrators. Almost one-third of the candidates interviewed last year were minorities, said a study released yesterday by the group, but only four were hired for 31 head coach openings in NCAA Division I football. The recent firings of Ty Willingham at Washington and Ron Prince at Kansas State - both effective at the end of the season - left the Bowl Subdivision, the NCAA's top division, with four black head coaches, plus one Latino and one Pacific Islander (Navy's Ken Niumatalolo).
More football: : Multiple Florida State players were involved in a fight at the student union, university police said. Police spokesman James Russell said officers responded around 12:30 p.m. to what he described as a "large fight" that involved at least 10 people. He said four - two men and two women - suffered injuries and were treated. No one was arrested. Coach Bobby Bowden declined to comment.
Basketball: : North Carolina coach Roy Williams said reigning National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough is "extremely doubtful" for Saturday's season opener for the No. 1 Tar Heels against Pennsylvania. Hansbrough hasn't practiced for two weeks because of a stress reaction to his right shin, which can be a precursor to a stress fracture.
Big East: : John Marinatto was unanimously promoted to commissioner by the league's presidents and chancellors. Marinatto, the conference's senior associate commissioner, formally replaces Mike Tranghese on July 1.
State restricts horses at Laurel Park barn
State officials are performing lab tests to determine the status of a horse that was having difficulty standing in its Laurel Park stall. The Maryland Department of Agriculture placed an "investigational animal hold order" yesterday on Barn 1 at Laurel Park pending lab results, the Maryland Jockey Club said. The order restricts movement of horses in the barn, and test results could be known as soon as today. The horse's condition is not being described as equine herpes Type 1 virus (EHV-1), jockey club officials said. In January, a horse stabled at the Bowie training center exhibited similar symptoms. In that case, tests for EHV-1 were negative, MJC spokesman Mike Gathagan said. With lab results pending, jockey club officials said they wanted to keep the horse community informed. In January 2006, an equine herpes outbreak that started at Pimlico Race Course and spread to Laurel Park resulted in four horses being euthanized and in Pimlico being closed for training for 17 days. The virus causes upper-respiratory infection and can lead to neurological problems. BILL ORDINE
Senior Players event coming back to Timonium
The Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship will return to Baltimore Country Club for the third straight year in 2009, the Champions Tour announced. The tour's fifth major will be played Oct. 1-4 at the Timonium course. The Champions Tour schedule features 26 official Charles Schwab Cup events and $51.4 million in official prize money.
NHL:: Alexander Semin had two goals and three assists to take the NHL scoring lead, and the Washington Capitals routed the host Carolina Hurricanes, 5-1, to take sole possession of the Southeast Division lead. Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists, and Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and three assists for the Capitals. They led 3-1 after one period and cruised to their third straight victory. ... Bob Murray has been hired as general manager of the Anaheim Ducks after Brian Burke declined a contract extension. ... Ottawa Senators forward Jarkko Ruutu was suspended for two games without pay by the NHL for catching the Montreal Canadiens' Maxim Lapierre with an elbow Tuesday.
Swimming:: American Peter Marshall broke the short-course record in the 50-meter backstroke at a World Cup meet in Stockholm, Sweden. He won in 23.05 seconds, beating Australian Robert Hurley's mark of 23.24. Therese Alshammar also set a record in the women's 50 butterfly in 25.31, topping the 25.32 by Felicity Galvez.
Auto racing: : Teresa Earnhardt and Chip Ganassi will combine their slumping race teams next season in an effort to stabilize their organizations in a tough economic time, the Associated Press reported.
Basketball: : Jerry Colangelo, who assembled the U.S. team that won the Olympic men's basketball gold medal, was elected as chairman of USA Basketball's Board of Directors for the 2009 to 2012 term.